I want to take a moment to not necessarily focus on fun adventures… so bear with me. I want to talk about my brain. Recently I’ve had to force myself to really step back and focus on my mental clarity… on focusing positive energy, and keeping things in perspective. I had two separate conversations with friends just this week that promted me to share these thoughts.
Those of you that have known me for a long time I’m sure can remember things on my Facebook 8, 9, 10 years ago. Shoot, maybe even 4 years ago. “The universe is against me”. “Why do things like this happen to me”. Woe is me… and lots of it. It pops up in my Facebook memories a lot nowadays and I delete the original posts. LOL. That being said, it wasn’t so much my oversharing and “woe is me attitude”, but it was truly a testament to how I viewed life. I felt like something was always going wrong, that I was missing out on things, that the world was unfair to me. Somehow the Universe was always out… for me. I despaired a lot, I bemoaned my life, lamented over the things I didn’t have or the experiences I missed for being a single parent to three kids and a single income.
That being said, I don’t know when the exact turning point was, but it was about 4 years ago I think, and someone (I can’t remember for the life of me who) said to me that they envied my life and the adventures I had. ME?! What are you talking about… that’s what I thought. You are crazy!! They told me that they envied how many adventures I had, the exciting things I did, the cool places I went. And after contemplating that comment for a while, I had this “ahh ha” moment, where I started to think about it. I was a single parent, paying child support, working hard with seemingly nothing to show for it. I had gotten myself in to a financial hole I didn’t feel like I could get out of. My car always had problems. And life always just felt against me. So how the hell could this person envy my life??? And you know what, when I sat back and thought about it, holy shit. They were right!! I have always structured my life just so that when Marley is with her dad (the older kids do their own thing now lol), that I go out and I make the absolute most of ever minute of those weekends. And I do still to this day. But it never occurred to me that I had something others didn’t. Somehow in this shadowed space in my mind, I’d completely overlooked how fortunate my seemingly shitty life circumstances were.
After that period of time, I started transforming my thinking:
– I have crappy cars that break down because I buy them on purpose. I don’t want expensive car payments or insurance payments. So I buy old cars and I accept that it means that I have to make repairs.
– My financial situation had legitimate reasons for its condition, but I could let it control me or I could control it. And control it I did. A few months ago I finally paid off the last medical expense sitting on my credit.
– Any bad “thing” that happened to me, I could own what happened, or I could accept it and find a solution. Do you know how incredibly liberating it is to actually be able to own a problem, control it and not let it control you?!
I found this quote probably a year ago, and it’s written on my wall at work: With no struggle, there is no progress.
Intriguing right?? But think about it. We can take every experience in life and we can choose how to view it. We can let it consume us and dominate our life, our thoughts, our attitude. OR, we can take it and learn from it. Study it. Gain insight and knowledge. And then form our future decisions from it. And the liberation I’ve had in my life since that time has been truly magnificent.
There are plenty of things I miss out on. There are so many bike ride, trips, excursions, and things of that nature that I have to say no to because I have my kiddos. But I structure my free time to be such that I get to enjoy every moment I have my kids, and then maximize every alone moment to be the best possible adventure I can have.
I guess the point of this is this: we can control our lives, or we can let our lives control us. I choose to control mine, and shit, I don’t just control it… I dominate that bitch. 😉